Emily, on growing her career in administration at Experian
Emily, Personal Assistant, shares her experiences with Experian and her path from Sales Support Administrator to successful PA.
What was your path to Experian?
I joined Experian in October 2008 in a Sales Support Administrator role. It involved supporting the diaries of two or three Sales Directors and their teams, alleviating them of admin tasks to make their time in front of their clients more productive. I loved it. I thrived in that team and was promoted to Senior Secretary looking after the UK&I and EMEA Marketing Director. He was one of my favourite people I've ever worked for.
When he was promoted, I moved on to another couple of roles which broadened my experience. First as a Team Manager in Sales Operations and then within the Business Continuity team. This role had more of the Personal Assistant (PA) element which I loved, and I knew this was what I wanted to do. When the Customer Servicing Director PA role became available, I knew it would suit me. I began this role in January 2016 and haven’t looked back. I love being a PA, it’s what I'm good at, and it's what I enjoy.
I’ve had the opportunity to manage and develop four secretaries which was great. We did so well that the team was disbanded so that the assistants could work directly on location with their directors as PAs. This was the proudest moment in my career. I’ve also had the opportunity to support Head-of-site responsibilities working with facilities, security, caterers, suppliers and contractors.
What do you like about working at Experian?
I love the fact that Experian invest in their employees. They would much rather invest in them and move them around the business so they can shine, than lose them. I genuinely feel that's true. During my annual appraisals, I’m normally asked how I would like to develop. It's not a taboo subject to talk about your next role, or if you're in a role you don't think is right for you. There are a lot of options and scope for you to pursue whatever career you want. So although I have been here for a long time, I've effectively had five different jobs so far.
What are the opportunities to grow?
It's your choice. You've always got people that will do a steady, continuous good job while they're here and then you've got the tenacious drivers that want to shine. Managers are encouraged to ensure that their teams are happy doing the job they're in and support them if they do want to develop or move on.
The options are there, so if you're keen to progress yourself and broaden your role, you'll get the reward and recognition. You're always encouraged to push yourself.
What are the traits need to be successful at Experian?
Be approachable and enthusiastic. My ethos has always been “don't say no!”. Even if you don’t complete the request yourself, you can signpost to the right place or person. You can’t have a 'that's not my job' kind of mentality, which I think is true of Experian as a whole.
What are the skills people need?
Being a confident communicator is key because you have to speak to and engage with everyone, managing relationships right the way up to directors and beyond. You need to have self-awareness, remember who you're talking to and tailor your messages accordingly. You also have to be organised, and be able to work well under pressure.
What is good about working at Experian?
It’s a very people-orientated company, with lots of support, and lots of tools available to help you learn and do well.
I think you have to be tenacious, confident and proactive to find the opportunities that are available to you. There are so many, from educational schemes to rewards where you can buy and sell holidays.
The company is keen to grow, to progress and to keep ahead in the business world. It's never stagnant, there's always changes happening, and I like that it's driven to stay on top of the industry.
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